It might be warm at the coast but it’s very fresh up here.

An abandoned house and garden in a largely abandoned village.

Walking up the mountain alone most days it was lovely for my friend Ege and his brother to come to visit. They were so enthusiastic and made me feel like I was seeing it all afresh. Instead of moaning about the effing Rottweiler, the bane of my life on the walking shortcut, I take most days, I could enjoy going up to the mosque and spring water fountain by car. Beyond there we walked and what a beautiful landscape unfolded before us.

A small meadow full of daisies and chamomile appeared after the last house that had been hidden from me before on my previous excursions. I was glorious in the sunlight a mirage after a distinct lack of sun and more open pastures.

Each day, I see new wonders. Bucolic herds of sheep with their shepherd, frisky horses in the olive groves, chickens free and happy, pretty cats and the usual nice dogs who come walkies with me. If you add wild tortoises and bees, butterflies and a huge variety of wild birds that I’ve seen this is the nature of my childhood.

Getting to the top of that particular mountain shows the others waiting to be explored.

You have to enjoy the here and now to appreciate life. I did that each time I walked around and met the lovely villagers and breathed that amazing mountain air. Life is good when you’re away from cities. You finally forget the madness and fear that trying to exist in cities makes, oppression and fear. No more dirty tap water and the air full of the chemicals that they are spraying down on us, well not as many.

Me and my lovely boys!

The roads are mostly used by tractors, indeed they use them to come to the place I’m staying for local pow-wows, and there are often several in the car park. It’s a magical step back in time when life was more simple and happier.

Ege, happy on a swing outside the local mosque


When yesterday for example I decided to go to the top of the ‘fish restaurants’ garden, I was amazed to find the loud noise that I had thought were ducks or somesuch creatures, was, in fact, loads of frogs in all the ponds and streams that it has built into its terraced gardens. They jump back in the water in alarm at my approach hiding amongst the pond weed. These very noisy chaps made me laugh with delight, they would return to their sunbathing after I had passed. Getting to the top of the gardens I removed my shoes to earth my body and amazing tranquillity filled my body, an almost spiritual vibrancy. At that point, I saw an eagle circling over, searching for some prey and floating on the updraughts with its massive wing span. What more can you ask for surrounded by such nature.

Let’s try to go back to the days of growing our own fruit and veg, being kind to each other and recognising the true dangers to our children’s future, not squabbling while distracted by dark entities.

Ege and his new wheels….joke


From the age of six, I lived on a working smallholding, so life on the farm is natural to me. Imagine my delight when the farmer said he was going to till my veg patch that he had ploughed two days earlier. I jumped on the tractor and off we went. I haven’t perched precariously on the side over a tractor for over half a century and it was wonderful. Up the mountain road past all the people I normally see whilst on foot, waving wildly with even one stop for the farmer, I think, to give a summation of the crazy English lady’s situation and aspirations.

Even though I was only on a tractor I felt like the Queen of Sheba on that humble mount. I was taught how to dismount when we arrived at the top drive to the garden so he could get on with the tilling, and my god what a professional. I know it’s hard for most people to get as excited and emotional about watching the soil turned but the smell of that rich earth and the realisation of my dream garden taking its first steps toward my vision made me cry a bit with joy.

The farmer was meticulous going back and forth until he was completely satisfied with his lines. As I was filming him for posterity I heard a strange gobbling sound, yes you guessed it a turkey had come down to check out the action.

When he finished I hopped back on the tractor, now a professional, and off we trundled down the road for a tour of his and his cousins’ farm. Pay attention here. Uncle runs fish restaurant where I’ve been staying in a cabin, his brother the farming of their land and his cousin the other farm where I met a lovely girl who works for an airline. It gets further complicated by the fact they all call each other ‘brother’ and ‘sister’. I also think that family here is like it used to be worldwide but is being eroded and spoiled in many places.

I’m proud to say that I am now considered part of this beautiful extended family. The crazy Aunt if you will.

When we did our road tour shouting hello to all and sundry we went past a pointy hill and he said he goes to the peak to pray. I will do the same next time I’m here. Then we turned off and into their other farms the family awaiting after my epic tractor ride.

I’m almost getting embarrassed by the bucolic chocolate box prettiness of everything. There greeted us a load of Kangal puppies to my right and the sheep and lambikins to my left. Sheds with cows munching on their rather delicious-smelling feed and licking me with their raspy tongues.


Just a quick eyeball into what I’ll research next:

When you think the grey wolf is the national animal of Turkiye, then you consider the abundant wildlife here including boars, bears, jackals and hyenas to name a few of the more exotic and well, big animals, and the above-mentioned eagles and falcons then you walk a little more mindfully as you’re back in the wild.

Snakes are also present in around forty-five species, just some caution with the Otterman viper, Anatolian meadow viper, Europen adder, Wagner’s viper and the Black cobra is advised!

You can’t exclude the good old Anatolian Shepherd Dog when you’re in this neck of the woods. These mighty noble hounds are all around and protect shepherds’ flocks in their seemingly gentle ways, you wouldn’t want to piss one off! Known as a Kangal after the town in Central Turkiye.

Bear in mind I’m inland so am mentioning the mountain beasts and birds you might encounter. By the sea on the marshes obviously, you have another spectrum of wonder.